Lishibanya Mohapatra Headshot

Lishibanya Mohapatra

Assistant Professor

School of Physics and Astronomy
College of Science

Office Location

Lishibanya Mohapatra

Assistant Professor

School of Physics and Astronomy
College of Science


Just like human bodies have organs to complete various biological functions, cells have distinguishable subcellular parts called organelles, each specifically designed for its own specialized tasks. My group uses math, physics and computation to study how cells measure and control the size of their organelles.


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Journal Paper
Momcilovic, Petar, et al. "A Probabilistic Approach to Growth Networks." Operation Research. (2021): 1-7. Web.
Shiff, Chloe E., Jane Kondev, and Lishibanya Mohapatra. "Competition between severing and tubulin induced repair of microtubules." BioArxiv. (2022): 0. Web.
Fai, Thomas F, et al. "Length regulation of multiple flagella that self-assemble from a shared pool of components." eLife. (2019): 1-31. Web.
Mohapatra, Lishibanya, et al. "The Limiting-Pool Mechanism Fails to Control the Size of Multiple Organelles." Cell systems. (2017): 559-567. Web.
MOHAPATRA, LISHIBANYA, Bruce L. Goode, and Jane Kondev. "Antenna mechanism of Length control of actin cables." PLOS computational biology. (2015): 1-16. Web.
Published Review
Dill, Ken A. "Annual Reviews of Biophysics." Rev. of Design Principles of Length Control of Cytoskeletal Structures, by Lishibanya Mohapatra, et al. Design Principles of Length Control of Cytoskeletal Structures 26 Apr. 2016: 85-116. Web.

Currently Teaching

1 - 3 Credits
This course is a faculty-directed project that could be considered original in nature. The level of work is appropriate for students in their final two years of undergraduate study.
3 Credits
How does physics bear on the workings of living cells and organisms? Physicists are critically needed to participate in addressing grand challenges in biology and medicine today. These challenges call for scientists, including physicists, to thoroughly penetrate the molecular workings of cells, tissues, and organisms and to create new and better instruments to probe them. This course is designed to acquaint you with current scientific challenges posed by this universe within, to equip you with physics tools that are important for addressing them, and to acquaint you with basic physical principles central to quantitative study of living cells and organisms. The course includes an introductory tour of cell biology from a physics standpoint, a quantitative introduction to molecular forces in living cells, and an introduction to manifestations of statistical physics in living organisms. Applications include enzyme catalysis, oxygen transport, diffusion within cells, thermodynamic forces, motor proteins, spontaneous structure formation, cell signaling, the electrical double layer, and conduction of nerve impulses. Additional topics will be chosen according to interests of students and instructors.
1 - 4 Credits
This course is a graduate capstone project for students enrolled in the Professional Master’s track of the MS Physics Program.
1 - 4 Credits
Graduate-level research by the candidate on an appropriate topic as arranged between the candidate and the research advisor.

In the News

  • September 16, 2022

    graphic with portrait of Lishibanya Mohapatra, assistant professor in the College of Science.

    NIH funds new RIT-led study to explore how living cells regulate the growth of organelles

    Lishibanya Mohapatra, an assistant professor at RIT’s School of Physics and Astronomy, hopes that a better understanding of how living cells maintain the size of their organelles can lead to therapies for neurodegenerative diseases. She earned a five-year, $1.7 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to study how cells control the size of organelles.